The Best Worst Year in the Blue Ridge

I’m the kind of guy who compares anything to everything: my favorite TV show (Survivor) to my least favorite (The Bachelor), the best month (April) to the worst month (November), the greatest year of my life (2012) to the very worst (2006). I can’t help it. I compare. It’s what I do. It’s why I love rankings and ratings and top-10 lists, the best and the worst. I can’t get enough of the comparison game. I especially enjoy comparing all […]

That Boy is Dead

I recently went home to celebrate my mother’s 60th birthday (she doesn’t look a day over 38). It was a weekend of laughs and meals and car rides that reminded me how blessed I am to be a Zuniga. And yet part of that weekend pricked a wound still in me. As part of our collective gift for our mother, my siblings and I converted a dozen home movies on VHS to DVD. We watched one over the weekend, featuring […]

A Decade Without Annie

The vortex of my loathing for November stems from this date a decade ago. The day I lost my dog, Annie, to a freak accident. An accident I was convinced was connected to my first bout with pornography and God’s judgment. A decade later, I’ve laxed on the whole God punishing me thing; a decade later, I still miss that dog dearly. I hug and cuddle all these other dogs in Asheville, daily at my job and dog-sitting at people’s […]

Why I Do What I Do

A year ago, I knew nothing about recovery. Phrases like “twelve steps” and “Alcoholics Anonymous” may as well have been as foreign to me as “World Champion Chicago Cubs.” But then I started working with teens in recovery, both in the woods and in a beautiful building, and I’ve learned I’m not that different from them. “You’re a flawed individual,” an instructor told one of our students this morning. He didn’t mean it in a derogative way. He also called […]

The Opposite of Addiction

Back when I worked in wilderness therapy last year, I learned an important lesson: the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. I had to think about it for a while. Absorb it. Reflect on it. Think back on the times I’ve experienced addition — pornography, promiscuity, a poor self-image — and realize that the saying is true. In my most desperate times of overwhelming addiction, the only effective counteracting agent wasn’t mere withdrawal or […]

I Have a Podcast!

Friends, You might have heard I started a podcast. It’s called Your Other Brothers Podcast, a show about faith, sexuality, masculinity, and brotherhood. I’m increasingly stirred by this content matter, of helping struggling people escape loneliness and abandonment in the Church. To share my story in the company of my dear brothers is a surreal dream come true. Our first four episodes are now live on iTunes, and it’d mean the world if you’d subscribe! If you do enjoy our show, […]

I Have Nothing to Say About Orlando

I read many tweets in the 48-hour aftermath of the Orlando shooting that claimed fifty lives. One jumped out at me most. It said: Christians: your silence is a deafening roar. I read the tweet, felt sobered by the tweet, grew annoyed by the tweet, and then pondered my own “role” or “responsibility” with regard to Orlando and that tweet. Do I need to tweet about whether we need better gun control? Do I need to tweet my prayers for the victims and/or their […]

The Hardest Video I’ve Ever Made

I don’t consider myself a videographer. I’m an artist first, a writer second, and somewhere within my inner swirl of creativity there’s room for music and painting and photography and even a little film. I have a YouTube channel, and I’ve shot/edited/published several videos over the years. Most of them are carefree and spontaneous and wandering-induced and maybe kinda sorta entertaining? But there a few videos I’ve uploaded over the years that have been much harder to put out there. My […]